In a Mediated Age

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This article, focusing on significant recent and current migration events, begins with the wide acknowledgement that mass media, especially news media, are the dominant sources from which individuals and groups construct their social realities. Further, print or broadcast reports, along with accompanying images that provide immediacy, relevance, and authenticity for the verbal messages, encourage particular interpretations through agenda setting, framing, and thematic narratives. The consistent, persistent, and corroborative character of media coverage of specific events, issues, or populations weighs heavily in this regard. Host-country expectations are typically formed as migrants approach a destination, or concurrently with their arrival, influencing reception and contextualizing perceptions of initial and ongoing encounters with migrants. The techniques and character of the agenda-setting, framing, and thematic narration as well as their impact on public opinion are explored. Additionally, journalistic self-assessment of migration coverage is explored.